Alumni Spotlight: Melody S. Mobley

A few months ago, we reconnected with Melody S. Mobley, who graduated from SEFS in 1979. She was the first black American woman to earn a bachelor’s in forest management from the University of Washington, in fact, and she went on to have a 28-year career with the U.S. Forest Service. We are very pleased to announce that Mobley will be joining us this June to give the keynote address at our commencement ceremony on Friday, June 12, at 10 a.m. in Kane Hall 130. Read more about her story, from participating in helicopter marijuana raids to her powerful words about the importance of diversity in natural resource fields!



Tomorrow: Recognition Event!

Our annual celebration of all things SEFS is tomorrow, May 5, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. We have some great awards to give out, catered snacks to devour, and an impressive sampling of Pacific Northwest wines to sip and savor—not to mention quite a spread of items to tempt you during the Silent Auction!


UW Climate Change Video Awards: Register Now!

We’re down to 10 finalists from a highly competitive field, and now the judges are weighing who will win first ($5,000) and second ($1,000) prize in each category, high school and undergraduate. Join us for the screening and award ceremony at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15, at Town Hall in downtown Seattle. It should be a great show, with tremendous student talent on display, so register now!


Xi Sigma Pi Research Grants: Proposals Due May 8

This spring, SEFS undergraduate and graduate students can apply for one of two $1,000 research grant awards from Xi Sigma Pi, the forestry honor society. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on May 8, so hurry up and finalize those proposals!


Students: Summer Field Assistants Needed

SEFS doctoral student Apryle Craig is recruiting student volunteers to assist with installing deer exclosures as part of a research study investigating the impacts of recolonizing wolves on deer herbivory in northeast Washington. Volunteers may also get the opportunity to practice radio telemetry, install trail cameras, review camera footage, and more. Email Apryle if you’re interested!


May 5, 2015:

SEFS Recognition Event, 3-5 p.m., Forest Club Room

May 15, 2015:

UW Climate Change Video Awards, 7 p.m., Town Hall

June 12, 2015:

SEFS Graduation, 10 a.m., Kane 130

Sept. 23, 2015:

SEFS Annual Retreat, CUH



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No better place to begin the kudos than by extending some big-time congratulations to Professor Stanley Asah, who has been promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure. It’s a huge and well-deserved accomplishment, so please join us in congratulating Professor Asah!

The kudos continue for SEFS grad student Allison Rossman, who during the month of April received two awards to support her graduate research: a Grant-in-Aid of Research from Sigma Xi, and a Student Research Grant from the Northwest Scientific Association. Rossman is studying the importance of spatial and temporal scales in the response of forest understories to restoration treatments in eastern Washington. Great work!

We also have some kudos for three faculty members who participated in a “Labs Unlocked” donor event at the Center for Urban Horticulture on Wednesday evening, April 29. Professors Greg Ettl, John Marzluff and Sarah Reichard, along with a few of their grad students, gave presentations and demonstrations about some of the research going in their labs.

Kudos, as well, to everyone from our student IFSA and SAF groups who helped put on a great networking skills workshop and social on Earth Day! The event was a wonderful testament to the power of student-driven mentorship and skills training, and we look forward to future installments.

We’ll wrap up with some kudos to the folks out at ONRC, who offered up their software key to help restore the poster printer here at SEFS, which had been down since the flood a few months ago. As a result, poster printing service will resume this Wednesday, May 6, at which point you can contact to submit a project.

Speaking of ONRC, last Friday SEFS doctoral student Shyam Kandel presented as part of the Evening Talks at ONRC speaker series out in Forks, Wash. Kandel’s talk, “Major Staple Food Crops Research,” drew from his research in Professor Sharon Doty’s Plant Microbiology Lab, where he is studying the plant-microbe interactions and underlying phenomena in plants that grow in the nutrient-poor environments.

In other student news, SEFS undergrad Angela Vaughan was awarded support through the SEFS Capstone Fund to complete her senior project. Working with Professor Darlene Zabowski, Vaughan is studying the relationship and relative effect of soil properties and trail surface characteristics influencing variation in tread condition along the Baker Lake Trail. This financial award will allow her to run carbon/nitrogen testing on soil samples, and she’ll be presenting the results and analysis at the undergraduate Capstone Poster Session on June 4. The findings from this study will be used to talk about implications for trail managers—what areas to avoid, suggestions for maintenance of existing damage, and how to address potential problem areas more proactively in the future.

SAVE THE DATE: The annual SEFS retreat has been set for Wednesday, September 23, in Merrill Hall at the Center for Urban Horticulture. More details will be available later this summer, but in the meantime please go ahead and block off that day!

The Northwest Horticultural Society is now accepting applications for the 2015 Elisabeth Carey Miller Scholarship in Horticulture, which is open to UW graduate students in horticulture and related disciplines. Applications are due on May 22, 2015, and contact Ray Larson at for more information about the scholarship and application process.

Also, don’t forget that on Tuesday, May 26, the University of Washington will be hosting a special lecture with Professor Linda Steg, an environmental psychologist from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. The talk, “How to inspire people to engage in pro-environmental actions,” will be held in the Alder Hall Auditorium at 6 p.m., and it is free and open to the public.



A final agreement has been negotiated with one of the two new wildlife faculty hires, and Professor Laura Prugh from the University of Alaska Anchorage will be joining our faculty as an assistant professor starting this fall. The second wildlife hire is still under negotiation.



Wildlife Science Seminar
: Mondays, 3:30-4:50 p.m., KANE 120

Water Seminar: Tuesdays, 8:30-9:20 a.m., AND 223

SEFS Seminar Series: Wednesdays, 3:30-4:20 p.m., AND 223

Advanced Silviculture Seminar: Thursdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Odegaard Library, Room 320



SEFS doctoral student Aimee Fullerton, who is working with Professors Christian Torgersen and Josh Lawler, is lead author on a new paper coming out in Hydrological Processes, “Rethinking the longitudinal stream temperature paradigm: region-wide comparison of thermal infrared imagery reveals unexpected complexity of river temperatures.” We'll have more information about this exciting research up on the blog soon.

Also from Professor Lawler’s lab, postdoc Jenny McGuire is a co-author on a paper that just came out in Science, “Paleontological baselines for evaluating extinction risk in the modern oceans.” UC Berkeley posted a press release about the research, as well.



On April 23, Professor John Marzluff was featured in a terrific video segment on CBS This Morning about crow intelligence, “Clever crows as smart as kids?” The Seattle Times covered a slightly more controversial angle of the story, which is about a local mom and daughter who feed a growing population of crows and get gifts in return: “Neighbors at war over feeding of crows in Portage Bay.”

SEFS doctoral student Ben Dittbrenner, along with his capstone student, Chris DiTomaso (who graduated this past quarter), were recently interviewed by Lockheed Martin about how they are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for beaver research, “From Thousands of Images, a Clear Picture.”



A remembrance ceremony for John L. Walker will be held on May 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at IslandWood, 4450 Blakely Ave., Bainbridge Island. Walker earned his Ph.D. from SEFS in 1971 while working with the late Professor Barney Dowdle, and he passed away on March 27 at his home on Bainbridge Island.